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Investigating Toyota. Helping GM?

   The Feds are apparently closing in on Toyota:

- Toyota faces federal, congressional probe - AP/The Buffalo News
   Facing tough questions in Congress, Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday that federal prosecutors have Toyotalogo launched a criminal investigation into the company's safety problems and the Securities and Exchange Commission was probing what the automaker told investors. Lawmakers pledged to ask executives about internal documents showing that Toyota visited with regulators who "laughed and rolled their eyes in disbelief" over safety claims.
- Panel: Toyota dismissed safety complaints for years - The Detroit Free Press
- Internal Toyota Document Could Become Smoking Gun - The Wall Street Journal
- Memos show U.S. cut short Toyota probe in 2007 - Reuters 
- Any recall response lag now scrutinized - The Japan Times   

   It sounds like Toyota deserves all this scrutiny. But.

   A few weeks ago, KC Star writer/blogger Yael T. Abouhalkah raised a really good point, one I haven't seen anywhere else: One reason it's a bad idea for the government to own General Motors -- even for a short time -- is that it there might be an appearance, or even the temptation, of one government agency to crack down on Toyota, say, in order to make GM look better, sell more cars, and pay back the money it got from another government agency.

   As the evolutionary biologists taught me: You can never do only one thing.

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News

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